Publishing Industry

I’m On the Nebula Awards Recommended Reading List!

The title says it all!

I’m so shocked and SO SO HAPPY!

You can click on this link to see my name up in lights with all the other writers, a lot of whom I admire and can’t believe I’m keeping company with!

I’m recommended reading!

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Me!

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No idea how it happened, but I’m taking it!

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(P.S. apologies for all the exclamation points and gifs, but yeah…you know how it is… ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

The Official NOC #CrossLines Reading List

This has been up since May and I had no idea my book was on such a great list. Seriously, the company I’m keeping is far above my station. It also happens to be a kick-ass list for fiction by and about people of colour.

My only quibble is the link to my book leads to someone else’s book instead of mine. You can find mine here, or you can just click the link right here on my blog. You know, if you still care and all, seeing as this was posted in May and we’re in November. But some of you have Christmas presents to get right? Well, here’s a list full of good options. Go have fun with it!

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This past weekend in Washington DC, the Smithsonian’s historic Arts & Industries building was home to the most important gathering of artists you have ever seen. The CrossLines pop-up culture lab on intersectionality brought together over 40 artists and scholars to explore race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability, etc.

I was fortunate enough to be invited and helped organize a Reading Lounge and live podcasts ‚ÄĒ while artist Matt Huynh painted a mural in real time the entire weekend. One of the questions I got asked the most was about the books we included, so after the jump you can find a complete list of books we had in the Lounge!

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NaNoWriMo And Piracity, Arrgh!

It’s been a while. Hope you guys behaved yourselves while I was gone.

Just a bit of news for those wondering what’s been happening since I last dropped by. I signed up for NaNoWriMo for only the second time in my life because I love deadlines and I really want to get this second book done. I’m hoping that being all public will make me push through to the end. Since this is the sequel to LEX TALIONIS, the sooner I have it in the can, the better. I totally got sidetracked by another book, but now that’s finished, time to refocus and try for the long haul.

I’ll be posting a synopsis, and excerpts as I go, to make sure I keep the writing juices flowing. I’d be delighted if anyone here reached out to me on the site and we hooked up as writing buddies for November. I’m MarenaCrewMember on the site, and if you read the excerpts, you’ll figure out what that means pretty quickly lol.

Another thing I’m involved in is an anthology called Piracity that’s been launched on Kickstarter. It’s being produced by Hugo Award winner Cheryl Morgan, in conjunction with Jo Hall and Roz Clarke. If it gets enough backers, you’ll have pirate stories of all genres from writers based in the UK and the Caribbean, and even further afield once funding is successful. Writers already attached include Karen Lord, Gareth L. Powell, Jonathan L. Howard, Stephanie Saulter, and yours truly. You can find out more about the project, including plans for more writers, by visiting the Kickstarter site.

Better yet, there’s currently a contest for the project where you dress like a pirate–or post a picture of a time you dressed like a pirate–and hashtag it #Piracity, and Cheryl and I get to award prizes to the best dressed. The contest ends soon, so enter as soon as you can.

I’ve already finished one story for the anthology, so be sure to back us if you can, or it will go to waste. And who wants to waste a good dragon pirate story, huh? Who?

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I also have another story in case the first doesn’t pass muster, but that one’s set in space and features the Madinah warriors mentioned in LEX TALIONIS and–oh yeah–Shalon herself. It’s set between LEX TALIONIS and the sequel, IACTA ALEA EST, and yes, there’s space piracy.

So good luck at the start of a new NaNoWriMo and I hope I see you over on the site real soon. And be sure to drop by the Piracity Kickstarter and share the love. Because I really, really want to see what the other writers come up with and trust me, so do you.

Until then, stay thirsty, my friends.

Success!!

Just so you guys know, it worked.

You know that book I was posting bits of pieces of on here? The Nightward? Well, as planned, I finished writing it during my break.

I’ve moved on to beta readers and continuous edits, which will end either when the book is bought and polished, or when I trunk it.

Join me in hoping for the first option lol.

Also, am now working on finishing the sequel to LEX TALIONIS. Wish me luck getting that done by end of next month.

And how you doing today?

New Caribbean Beat Magazine Interview!

Hope you’ve all been behaving yourself while I’m away, putting the final scenes in my latest book.

Remember I mentioned some good things were coming up for me soon? Well, one of them just dropped.

Caribbean Beat magazine, the free in-flight magazine for Caribbean Airlines–one of the largest carriers in the Caribbean–interviewed me a while back. The interview is in the new March/April issue. This one is important to me because it’s a special article about the rise of speculative fiction in the Caribbean and several authors were interviewed. I got to keep company (again!) with Nalo Hopkinson, Tobias Buckell and Karen Lord.

How lucky does one girl get, right?

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You can read the interview here.

Hope you enjoy the article. Feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment, or contacting me via the ‘Say Hello’ form on this website.

Stay thirsty, my friends, and see you soon!

The Bookshine Bandit – New LEX TALIONIS Review

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Yes, I know I’m very late. But I’m only one week late in China!

I should have come by at least a couple of times last month, but in my defense, I was writing pretty steadily. I’m still at it and I’ve also been very busy at work, but I have some cool things happening on the writing front, so I thought I’d pop by, say hello and check in with everyone.

Hope you all are having a great year so far, and that only more good things are in your future.

While we’re here, you can check out my latest review for LEX TALIONIS. It’s later than the reviewer intended, but I’ll wait for a 5 star for a pretty long time lol.

You heard that, right? 5 STARS!

You can check it out at The Bookshine Bandit.

I have to say, I think the title of that review will end up being my elevator pitch lol.

See you again soon. Until then, stay thirsty, my friends!

Public Service Announcement!

You may have noticed I’ve been gone a while. That was due to several factors including illness, a very busy period at work, trying to write more, a vacation and general laziness (not in that order).

However, I’ve since got over my bronchitis, killed my work assignment and had a blast on vacation in St. Vincent (My first 5 star resort! Pictures to come!). When life gets that good, it follows that something not so great might happen and that was this week, when I tried to put on my computer and return to my writing schedule.

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Suffice it to say, I paid $1,000 to fix this thing in May, and it’s not working. Again. I was heartbroken. Especially since my vacation has left me with cashflow problems the like of Bear Stearns before it died a swift, painful death.

Worse, I have no computer to write on.

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But there are angels in the world, and one of them is my sister. So I am getting an early Christmas/Birthday present in the form of my very first laptop ever. I’m a bit nervous about using a smaller device and I will also need stuff like a new desk, but I’m incredibly happy to be getting a new machine.

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Unfortunately, this means writing and blogging will also take just a bit longer before I start up again, but hopefully this time I’ll be able to keep at it for a while. My priority these days is writing though, so I’ll not be as frequent a poster as I used to be, as you probably already noticed.

In the meantime, I’ll post cool stuff I find on the internet when I can. So here’s a link to a helpful¬†blog on 51 things that break reader immersion for my writing friends out there.¬†

Till we meet again…stay thirsty, my friends!

3 Day Quote Challenge…And There They Go, Over The Finish Line!

Today’s day three¬†of the 3 Day Quote Challenge. We made it all the way to the last day, guys! Thanks again to Erin Burns for nominating me. Go read her blog. You won’t regret it.

You can find out about the rules in my first post here.

And are today’s quotes. That’s right…in honour of this being the third and last day of the challenge, I’ve decided to post three quotes about one of my very favourite things. Books and reading.¬†None of them,¬†I trust, will¬†need any explanation:

NEVER be ashamed..of your books :):

There’s only one of you, my friends. Only one unique, glorious, fascinating you. So don’t waste your time trying to be anyone else, or meeting anyone else’s idea of who or what you should be. Read what you love, watch what you love, be what you love.

Keep reading. It's one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have. -Lloyd Alexander:

Is there any place more fun, exciting and endlessly entertaining than the depths of our own minds?

So true.:

Reading is the gift that keeps on giving. Let’s make sure more kids know that joy.

And the final three blogs you might like to visit:

  • kelzbelzphotography blogs on photography, her hobbies and her life. If you like arts, craft and an honest, captivating voice, this is the blog for you.
  • My friend Alex West muses on writing, movies and whatever strikes her fancy on Compulsive Writer. She’s one hell of a fantasy writer, and you can learn some really great tips here.
  • Tonya Moore has excellent writing advice and insights on her blog, especially for beginners. A great place for guest posts and free stories.

Thanks for staying with me through this challenge, my friends. And if you like my quotes, you can take a look at my Pinterest page, where I got most of them from.

Have a great weekend, and stay thirsty, my friends!

A Talk And An Award

* Edit:  It appears I got my history a bit wrong. Marlon James is the first Jamaican to win the Man Booker. However, the first Caribbean national to win it appears to have been V.S. Naipaul. It just so happens he was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago! 

Yesterday I had a great time giving an informal talk about speculative fiction and what it takes to be a writer to the 6th Form students at St. Augustine Secondary School. I also read a bit from one of my current shorts, Wire and Blood.

The school was newly built, the library really nice–just like the librarians–and best of all, it was air-conditioned!

This was my first class of teenagers. I’ve given talks with teenagers present before, and even younger children, but not an entire class of them. I was delighted to meet a room full of intelligent, open, enthusiastic young men and women who needed no prompting to ask questions or react to what I was saying. In short, they were a great audience that gave me lots of energy, and I hope I was able to give them some insight and inspiration.

Here’s me accepting their wonderful tokens at the end of the talk. I made out like a bandit with stuff that included a new book and writing materials. I hope the librarian remembers to tell them how much I appreciated it!

St. Augustine Secondary Talk

On another note, I just read that the Man Booker Prize has been won today by a Caribbean national for the first time! Jamaican writer Marlon James bested the competition with A Brief History of Seven Killings. I’ve been hearing about how wonderful this book is since the Bocas Lit Festival put him on the short list for the OCM Bocas Lit Prize.

Scratch that–I heard about this book long before that, through an article in Caribbean Beat Magazine just before it debuted. It’s in my very large to be read pile, I’m sad to say, but I’m delighted that the Caribbean has another great author to celebrate, and a young one too. Jamaica to the World!

Congratulations, Marlon! Thanks for raising we nose!

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Stay thirsty, my friends!

Tantie, Papa And The Mango Tree On Diego Colony

A bit from a story I’m still working on. Funny thing is, I finished another story with the same character and it got an Honourable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest last year, but for some reason this story is just not cooperating. It won’t tell me how to get to the ending, just yet.

Guess I’ll just have to trunk it until it does…

The day I turn ten, my mother walk into the corrosive sea on the western edge of Diego colony.¬† She used to cut sheself during her depressions, so she wasn’t no stranger to pain.¬† She didn’t even whimper when the hissing lilac waves attack her legs and red stains start to drift ’round her in threads.¬†

I don’t know if I scream or say anything.¬† I remember her sinking into the waves, graceful, graceful, and I remember running toward her.¬† I was lucky–I trip and kilkitay on my face. I fling out my right arm, trying to save myself, just as a wave come toward me.¬† My hand started burning, as if a thousand flames was under it, and I could still see the lilac coming toward my face, hissing all the way.

That was a bad day.  The worst day.  I could deal with anything because of that day.

I keep telling myself that as I walk down to the pier, sand sucking and trapping my shoes all the way.  I have to prepare myself before I get to the crowd on the beach or crapaud smoke my pipe.

I have to forget the waves biting the shore in front me.

I almost reach them when they turn as one to look at me.¬† Resentment and anger shifting and molding so many faces.¬† It fascinating how them faces is every shade between white and brown.¬† You don’t notice them things when you pass people on main street, but here, together, I can’t see nothing else.

I blink and shake off the distraction.  The metal in me like patterns. Is just the wired side of me, fixating, as usual.

The crowd split as someone push they way toward me.¬† Manno.¬† He bare arms shiny with sweat in the midday sunlight.¬† He nutmeg brown face twisted with grief and rage.¬† Big man, Manno, but usually no trouble.¬† Today, with his son John John in a coma back at Diego’s only Clinic, he definitely my biggest problem.

Before the crowd shift and fall back in behind Manno, I see Boyie standing next to the pier. He scared, poor thing. Beyond him, at the end of the metal platform, he tiny ferry rising and falling on the lilac waves. 

“Now you reach?”¬† Manno’s voice almost cracks.¬† “Now?”

“Is Market Day.”¬† I reminded him.¬† “I come when I hear.”

“Well, we don’t need you.”¬† Esther, Manno’s wife, push through behind him and grab he arm.¬† She small and bald with big grey eyes in she cappuccino face.¬† Today, the look she give me make them less beautiful.

“Esther,” I nod my head at her.¬† “I very sorry for what happen, but don’t forget who you talking to.”

“You threatening us?”¬† Esther’s eyes narrow.¬† “Who food you does eat every day?”

“So you exempt?¬† You could do what you like because you run the hydroponics lab?”¬† I shake my head.¬† “Esther, I not Tantie for some–I Tantie for all.”

“You protect him long enough,” Manno says through tight lips.¬† “No more.¬† Not after John John.”

A murmur of agreement goes through the crowd.  I ignore it.  People will talk theyself into anything if you let them.  My job is not to let them.

Wondering if to even bother to finish it. Perhaps I should just move on to other stories instead of wasting my time?

Decisions, decisions…

Stay thirsty, my friends!